🐙 Octopus Carpaccio, Nobu-Style 🐙
Fish Roe, Jalapeño Dressing, Cabbage Radish Salad
The inspiration for this eye-catching carpaccio dish came from an old image of Octopus Carpaccio at Nobu Shoreditch Restaurant, London. Captivated by the purple and white octopus coins in a sea of spring-green, I turned to Nobu Matsuhisa’s beautiful book “Nobu West” for his piquant jalapeño-garlic dressing recipe which completely revved up the chilled octopus’ sweet ocean-y flavors.
Fish roe added an insane pop of color, salty notes, and a contrasting crunchy texture. Finely diced jalapeño brought a bit more heat and excitement to the party. ありがとうシェフ Thank you, Chef!
Octopus Carpaccio Recipe
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🦐 Fried Prawns with Creamy Calamansi Sauce 🦐
Date Syrup Candied Walnuts with Chinese Five Spice
Wing Lei is the first Chinese restaurant in North America to earn a Michelin star – serving Cantonese, Shanghai and Szechuan flavors, and featuring tableside-carved Imperial Peking duck.
The meaning of the Chinese characters that represent Wing Lei, is twofold: not only does it mean “forever prosperous” but it also represents “Wynn” itself, the luxury Las Vegas resort and casino. All the menu items are priced ending in 88 cents. Representing prosperity and completeness, the number 88 is especially popular in Chinese culture because of the double eights but also because of its visual similarity to the sign for double happiness 囍.
Places are set with two sets of chopsticks per person. Black chopsticks are used to take food from mutual dishes to one’s plate. White ones are meant to carry food to one’s mouth.
We recently enjoyed an extraordinary meal at Wing Lei, celebrating my nephew’s 21st birthday. The service and ambiance were impeccable, the food sublime. One of our favorite dishes was Fried Prawns, I re-create my version here.
Fried Prawns Recipe
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🌸🌿 Thai-Style Pan-Seared Pacific Cod 🌿🌸
Panang Curry, Fried Basil
Bell Peppers, Onion, Ginger, Peanuts, Coconut, Lime
Panang Curry, with its savory blend of shrimp paste, Thai chilies, and aromatics such as lemongrass, kaffir lime, and galangal is heavenly when paired with Wild Alaska Pacific Cod. Cod is a very pleasant fish with a slightly sweet, mild clean taste and a lean flaky texture.
Together, the result is a delightful dish that is just bursting with flavors. Bell peppers, onion, and ginger form the vegetable base; where roasted peanuts add crunch and nuttiness; a drizzle of coconut milk adds creamy tropical notes; and a squeeze of lime adds that sour punch.
The best part is plenty of fried basil leaves, adding shattering herbal notes. Jasmine rice is served on the side to sop up what might be left of that exotic fragrant curry.
🌸🌿 Thai-Style Cod, Panang Curry Recipe 🌿🌸
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Scallop Sushi ~ Gunkan Maki Style
Tender and buttery, day-boat sea scallops from Maine are simply delightful with their slightly sweet flavors, and slightly briny hints of the sea. They are harvested by fishermen that go to work in the icy waters then return to port that same day.
Since the fishing trip is short, day-boat scallops do not need to sit on melting ice like longer expeditions, and therefore do not absorb water over the course of the trip. The taste is pure and natural, as the scallops are not bloated with water after harvest. These scallops are treated with the utmost care, and never soaked in a solution of sodium tripolyphosphate which is commercially used as a preservative but unfortunately degrades the quality of the scallop.
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Gunkan maki was invented in 1941 by Hisaji Imada, the chef/owner of restaurant Kyubey in Tokyo. His new-fangled presentation allowed for the sushi service of soft/loose toppings, such as sea urchin and fish roes. These toppings could not be served in the traditional nigiri style, which consists of a solid slice of raw fish atop an oblong rice ball.
The shape of the newly-developed sushi resembled that of a battleship, hence the name. Gunkan is battleship in Japanese, Maki means roll. Sushi rice is hand-formed into a cuboid, rolled/wrapped with nori, then a soft/loose filling is spooned into the interior.
Here our battleship is filled with diced raw day-boat scallop lightly tossed with Japanese mayonnaise and sea salt. Aromatic shiso adds complex herbal notes where a bit of pungent wasabi flavors the seasoned rice. To quote one of my favorite chefs on a famous seafood dish, “It was a morsel of perfection.”
Scallop Sushi Recipe
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🦀 Dungeness Crab Nigiri 🦀
Miso-Garlic Mayonnaise, Shiso Leaves, Chives
The sweet ocean-y taste of Dungeness crab is complemented by the fresh herbal notes of shiso leaves – reminiscent of mint, lemon, anise, and basil. The miso mayonnaise adds creamy, nutty, garlicky, and umami characteristics. This two-bite nigiri sushi is a morsel of delight with a complex sweet/savory/herby flavor.
Dungeness crabs get their name from the port of Dungeness, Washington. They are found along the West Coast of North America, typically from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Point Conception, near Santa Barbara, California.
Dungeness Crab Nigiri Recipe
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